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Service Business Model Capability Assessment

In 2011 Cambridge Service Alliance carried out substantial research into understanding Business Models for Service and published the results in From Processes to Promise white paper. This work identified features associated with successful service innovation and underpinning capabilities essential for innovation in service business models. As a result we found out that business model innovation requires:



  • An outcome-based value proposition based on the client’s needs: organisations must provide solutions centred on customers’ desired outcomes, and expand existing services towards more comprehensive offerings.
  • Effective value delivery: Complex value propositions require additional skill sets and cooperation of business partners; service providers who can manage the service ecosystem can also increase profit margins;
  • Accountability spread: Service providers become responsible for increasing levels and types of risk associated with their outcome guarantees. The ability to estimate and manage these risks properly is essential.

Capability Assessment Tool

Based on the research performed in 2011, we have now developed a tool that allows us to test business model capabilities within an organisation, a certain division or even a smaller scale project. 

The tool is excel based questionnaire, which can be used as self-assessment or through more precise interviews. The responded will score each of the detailed questions related to each capability and also estimate the importance of this capability to the business performance. Through this type of process we are then able to draw a spider web as presented on the figure beside. Through this we map the areas of improvement and possible areas of excellence.

Practical relevance

Through our assessment organizations are able to:

  • Identify capabilities for successful business model development
  • Map out areas of expertise and improvement
  • Brainstorm practical steps towards  excellence in service business
  • Compare capabilities found in different business units and projects to the company's overall performance

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